North Dakota Secularists File Lawsuit Against City of Fargo

From Ed Brayton: The Red River Freethinkers have filed suit against the city of Fargo, North Dakota over their refusal to allow a monument citing the Treaty with Tripoli to be placed near the Ten Commandments monument on city property. The Treaty with Tripoli, negotiated under George Washington and signed by John Adams in 1797, … Continue reading

Where does “spam” come from?

Have you ever thought to yourself Why do they call junk mail “spam”? Today, in reading what is shaping up to be an outstanding book – Steven Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature – I learned the etymology of this funny word. Pinker is quoted below.

The impact of language on cognition: New findings

Deric Bownds posted on interesting new research showing that language can affect even low-level more hard-wired aspects of our cognition, including colour perception and memory. Language as a vehicle of culture may be even more influential on our cognition than previously suspected. Read on for discussion of the findings and broader issues in cognition.

Why do people believe in Gods? Oxford to launch a $4 million research program on religious belief.

Associate Press (via AZ Central) reports that the University of Oxford is about to embark on a nearly $4 million research program investigating why mankind believes in God(s). The US-based John Templeton Foundation providing the financial resources that will enable the Oxford-based Ian Ramsey Center for Science and Religion to gather anthropologists, theologians, philosophers and other academics together … Continue reading

Western society is in no position to ban the raping of animals. There. I said it.

Now hear me out on this before allowing any pre-conceived judgments to crystallize on this assertion. Before I get into my argument, I will say that I personally have no interest in having sex with or forcing myself sexually upon an animal. Nor am I saying that people should do this, or that it is a … Continue reading

Sam Harris: It’s not about atheism, it’s about reason and genuine respect for the well-being of others

Having just watched the recent Sam Harris + Rabbi David Wolpe debate on the existence of God, I was reminded of Sam Harris’ very important and agreeable position that a big part of the cultural struggle being fought be secularists should not be about atheism specifically, but about reason generally. Now, the subject of religion … Continue reading

90 day Ron

In 90 days I will still most likely find it to have been unjustifiably inconsiderate to, as an art project, create a blog entitled 90DayJane in which a person calling herself Jane claims that she plans on committing suicide in 90 days. While I don’t think this Jane is a bad person, this was surely a … Continue reading

Barack Obama’s speech on religion in America

I just watched Barack Obama’s recent speech on religion in America. I *really* like what he had to say. Obama discusses a few key interrelated topics: his personal religious background, the religious divide in America, and the importance of upholding church-state separation.

Renowned scientist Stuart Kauffman in Toronto TONIGHT (CFI Ontario)

For more information on tonight’s event, see: This should be very interesting.

Renowned scientist Stuart Kauffman at McMaster University tonight, York University and CFI Ontario tomorrow

REINVENTING THE SACRED: How the Paradigm of Emergence Offers New Scientific Views on the Origin of Life and Biodiversity, Economics, Ethics, and Spirituality Stuart Kauffman, Institute for Biochemplexity and Informatics, University of Calgary Thursday, Feb 7, 7:30-930pm, Michael G. Degroote Centre for Learning & Discovery and Atrium (MDCL), Rm. 3022, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. W, … Continue reading